National, News

Defiant Twic-Ngok renew clashes despite President’s order

By William Madouk


Renewed clashes erupted again on Friday between Twic of Warrap and Ngok of Abyei despite President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s directives for two sides to observe a ceasefire.

On Tuesday, President Kiir issued an order to both the communities of Twic and Ngok to instantly implement a permanent ceasefire.

But the President’s efforts to restore calm and stability goes without heed since the situation on the ground remains volatile.

Twic County commissioner, Simon Aguek Chan, told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that Abyei Armed youth defied President Kiir’s order and attacked Anyiel Kuac area of Turalei payam in Twic and burned houses to ash.

“The attack took place at 1 AM on January 19, 2024, by Abyei armed youth and Nuer armed youth from Mayom County,” said Chan.

“People ran to the bushes, and they started burning the houses, and a number of property was lost or damaged,” he continued.

He added that a fact-finding team has been sent to the incident scene to assess the number of casualties, injuries, and properties lost during the attack.

“Some measures were taken; we talked to the SSPDF in the area so that they could prepare to protect the citizens because a large number of citizens are now in the bush since the attack,” the commissioner stated.

Mr. Chan underlined that he informed the youth not to take any retaliation but hinted that if there’s no swift reply from the army to prevent any further attacks, then youth have to defend themselves.

“They [youth] will stop if the government prevents and takes action against those who violated presidential order,” he continued.

When contacted by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the information minister of Abyei Administrative Area, Bulis Koch denied the allegation.

“First, we respect the presidential orders that were issued by H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit concerning the conflict between Ngok and Twic, secondly our youth did not launch any attack on Turalei,” he said.

In similar directives, the head of state also issued an order for the peaceful relocation of a Nuer spiritual leader from Warrap State.

His decision comes amidst rising communal tensions among communities in Western Bahr-el-Ghazal, Warrap, and Abyei Administrative Areas.

Kiir directed the governors of the aforementioned geographical locations to continue engaging politicians, military leaders, traditional leaders, and other stakeholders in their respective areas in a bid to find lasting peace between the conflicting communities.

On December 31, 2023, the deputy chief administrator of Abyei Administrative Area, Noon Deng Nyok, and four of his bodyguards, including the driver, were killed in an ambush along Agok Road.

In November last year, at least 32 people were killed during ethnic fighting between the Twic Community of Warrap and the Ngok Dinka Community of Abyei Administrative Area.

Not only that, there has been a continuous dispute between the communities of Apuk and Marial Baai, where both have waged counterattacks.

In April 2023, the Twic Dinka and the Ngok Dinka signed a ceasefire agreement, but the situation remains tense and unstable.

On January 10 and 11, 2024, some state governors and chief administrators of Abyei Special Administrative Area and Ruweng Administrative Area met in a bid to resolve inter-communal violence between the respective sisterly communities.

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